Bolton-on-Swale Lakes

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Bolton-on-Swale Lakes

Bolton-on-Swale Lakes

The 10.9 hectare lake is one of the few expanses of open water in this part of North Yorkshire and is consequently of great importance for wildfowl and wading birds. Great crested grebe, little grebe, shoveler and little ringed plover have bred along with oystercatcher, yellow wagtail and corn bunting(right) in the surrounding area. In winter, the numbers of ducks, geese and waders can be very high with hundreds of lapwing, curlew and golden plover feeding on the grasslands with nationally important numbers of wigeon. Smaller numbers of goldeneye, pochard and teal winter on the lake; swans and pintail are less frequent. A large winter gull roost may sometimes hold rarer species such as glaucous and Iceland gulls.

Wherever there is such a large concentration of birds, rare and scarce species can always turn up. Passage waders have included common sandpiper, curlew sandpiper, little stint, ruff and whimbrel. Other scarce birds that can sometimes be seen include merlin, pink-footed goose and terns, as well as national rarities like the Caspian tern.

Botanically the reserve is less interesting, although mare’s-tail is abundant in the lake, and there is a variety of marshland plants such as brooklime and water forget-me-not at the water’s edge. As lapwing numbers decline nationally, retaining traditional winter feeding grounds is essential.

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The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Yorkshire |  Bolton-on-Swale Lakes

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